June 8, 2022, 12:00 PM HST
* Updated June 8 at 11:09 a.m.
As of Tuesday, June 7, the Special Olympics Hawai’i, or Hui O Hawai’i, team has won seven medals, including three won by a Big Island athlete, at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games.
Shawn Lehano won a silver in the deadlift, a bronze in the bench press and a bronze in the combo 2 in powerlifting on the second day of national competition. The team of 16 Special Olympics Hawai’i athletes and five unified partners from across the state won a total of one gold, three silver and three bronze on Tuesday.
The team’s only gold medal to date was won by Ho’opi’ookalani “Ho’opi’o” Balaz of O’ahu in singles bocce.
The national competition celebrates the Special Olympics movement while promoting the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport and showcasing the abilities of athletes with an intellectual disability.
The 16 Hui O Hawai’i athletes from O’ahu, Kaua’i, Maui and the Big Island were selected from 3,400 entrants from across the state to compete in the eight-day national competition. They join more than 3,500 Special Olympics athletes from across the country who compete in bocce, bowling, powerlifting and swimming, as well as youth leadership programs.
The USA Games 2022 runs until June 12.